Unmistakably Nordic in flavor, Sofia Talvik somehow still conforms to American interpretations of her own original music, a North Sea siren blending sparkle and melancholy, creating a special niche of folk music.
If you’ve followed me on Facebook before you know that I enjoy cooking (understatement!) and like to post pictures of whatever food I make. In the RV it’s a little bit more challenging to go on any culinary adventures. I try my best but work space is limited as well as cupboard space and having lived in this thing for about two months I’m not quite stocked up on spices and tools either. We’re also on a budget whereas at home we almost never got around to eating those leftovers.
But as someone said – musicians tend to find each other everywhere, so it seems foodies do too. On this tour so far we’ve been invited for some lovely meals, both in people’s homes and to restaurants – something that we starving artists always appreciate. In Tampa we happened to meet the chef/ owners of the hot new restaurant The Refinery which has been written about in fancy publications such as Condé Nast Traveller. They invited us for dinner, the day after my gig at the great beer bar The Independent, and by chance their neighbor had dropped off a couple of pheasants which they prepared for us.
In Birmingham, AL I visited the radio show Oh Brother and the owner of MIX, a very nice bakery/restaurant in downtown wrote on my facebook wall and invited us for lunch. We had some great gumbo but was most impressed by the gorgeous sour dough breads that they had for sale. Good bread is something that’s very hard to find here in the US I think. I might be spoiled though because back in Sweden the bakery of the Swedish champion in bread baking is just next doors to my apartment.
When lunching at MIX the chef and co-owner Phil Dupont came out to say hi and all of a sudden we were invited to his upscale restaurant Cafe Dupont for dinner. We were totally blown away by the beauty and atmosphere at Cafe Dupont but even more so by the food. My favorite was the tuna starter (I’m a sucker for good tuna and Asian flavors) and Jonas favorite was the veal starter. And don’t get me started on the Cosmo!!!
In New Orleans we’ve been taken out to experience the best of the city by our newfound friend photographer Marc Pagani, who not only showed us the Hi Ho Lounge, made us the strongest drink ever but also took us for a culinary tour at La Petite Grocery on Magazine street. Food and ambience was great and I’d go back anytime if I could.
We ended our last night in NOLA with a visit to Lola’s, an unpretentious little Spanish restaurant in Mid-city which was also very enjoyable. We really had our mind set on the authentic kitchen of Liuzza’s by the track but unfortunately they were closed on Sunday’s. Good thing we already had the catfish po-boys and beignets the days before.
But as enjoyable restaurants are the most satisfying is a really good meal you’ve cooked yourself. I never thought I’d do the Swedish cabbage rolls in the RV (the best kind of comfort food) but that’s what I did the other day. And people who think you have to live off microwave meals and eat off paper plates are either too lazy to use their kitchen or just not creative enough. I even made a quick version of beef teriyaki the other day. Or how about some Vietnamese salad wraps?
If I’d just have some more space and would be able to find fresh yeast I’d be baking too. Actually it’s probably just the lack of yeast that stops me 😉
This has been a great year with lots of stuff happening. I made 4 EP albums with 4 different producers, the wonderful guys in my backing band. And all of you chipped in and funded the releases so that we were able to finish the project. 4 ass-kicking metal bands did 4 ass-kicking cover albums of my EPs and one of them actually released a video too (or rather will release in a few days so I’m cheating by telling you now) Badmouth made a video of their cover of my song “To watch the bridges burn”, check it out here!
Throughout the year I have worked hard to get an artist visa to the US, and thanks again to my wonderful fans who helped out with house concert contracts and letters of recommendation I finally got my visa and packed my things and went to Florida in November. In December my big “Drivin’ & Dreaming tour” took off and I’ve now been all around Florida playing in different venues. One unexpected thing that I experienced is that I had at least a few loyal fans show up for every gig. I didn’t know there’s be so many of you!
Throughout the tour we’ve had the RV break down and fixed, nothing major yet thank God. We’ve been invited to have dinner with Greg and Michelle of The Refinery, Tampa, for southern shrimps and grits at Sian and Otis’ in St Petes and to stay the night in a really cool A frame cottage with Doris in Melrose to mention a few of all the lovely people we’ve encountered along the way.
It’s now time to say good bye to Florida and head up to South Carolina and Georgia for January. Many new experiences are to come, many new shows to be played. We’re heading into new states and a new year. In January my new album “The Owls Are Not What They Seem” will be released and I hope you will continue to support my tour as I go through America in my old RV – Drivin’ and Dreaming.
I played at the dinner that A&R Worldwide and the Swedish Consulate held yesterday. (A big thank you to the organizers for having me, it was a great honour!) It was nothing like I had expected. I thought it was going to be more of a networking thing, where people would mingle and talk while I stood in a corner singing. Instead there were a hundred seated people, totally quiet, just looking at me. I got so nervous I thought my knees would shake me off the planet! But I got through it and then Kristin, Peter and Warren took me to the Troubador.
I’m going home today so I’m having my last american sandwich…
…which is basically a sandwich monster. I bought one yeaterday, so this is actually the left over half of that one. I can’t imagine why they want to overstuff their sandwiches like this.
I’m actually so glad I’m going home today. First of all since I get to go home to Jonas, second because my ears hurt from all the english. It gets kind of intense after a while, and I think the phrases I’ve used most during these two weeks have been:
“That’s a good thing”
and of course “Thank you so much” which I am also saying now to you guys for following my tour blog. I hope you got to see one of my showcases in Austin, where I had my lovely band with me (I missed you guys so much yesterday). Good by America!
I just landed in LA. It’s kind of a bit cooler here than in Texas, I didn’t really count on that but I did bring a sweater so I’ll be fine. I just checked in to the Saharan Motor Hotel, and Warren from Worldsound who is with me reluctantly checked in to the same hotel although he refered to his room as “creepy”. Mine is ok, it’s your average motel room.
Tomorrow I’m meeting with the guys at the Swedish Consulate, and then I’ll be playing at their dinner. I probably won’t have any time to do anything else which is good because then time will fly until I get back to Jonas in Stockholm.